Featured Blog Posts (59)

Hot, hot hot – Sarasota Ballet Turns in One of its Finest Performances of the Decade

“Redefined Movement” began with “Les Rendezvous” – a gorgeous, frothy confection by Sir Frederick Ashton that, as Marie Kondo would say, truly sparks joy. Dreamy crisp white costumes were punctuated with pink ribbons on the female dancers and blue accents on the males. This was also the first of three performances by relative newcomer Ivan Spitale who, even sharing the stage with the glorious Marcelo Gomes, was truly the MVP of the night. His height and carriage made a splash from the first…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 4, 2020 at 8:30pm — No Comments

A Tremendous Triumvirate Cast Bring a Lyrical Essay to Life

As we crest into the 2020s, John Adams' famous incantation that “facts are stubborn things” has never been more relevant. As a result, Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest production “The Lifespan of a Fact” has been my most highly anticipated show of the season. We are living through an era where, depending on your point of view, facts are either the most sacred of all things or they are dispensable in a so-called “post-truth” era.


With speed and agility, the tremendous…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 29, 2020 at 9:30pm — No Comments

"In a State of Weightlessness" Caps a Night of Tribute to Graziano

Beloved principal dancer Ricardo Graziano, who has been dazzling audiences with his charismatic performances and generous partnering, was honored with a retrospective of his diverse choreography.


Eight years ago, Artistic Director Iain Webb suggested Graziano begin choreographing ballets – a wise move for a dancer of Graziano’s calibre to carry on his legacy. Great performers live on in our memories, yet dancer/choreographers solidify their place in dance history every time…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 27, 2019 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Around the World in 80 Days opens Tomorrow at the Asolo Repertory Theatre!

Around the World in 80 Days opens Tomorrow at the Asolo Repertory Theatre!


Added by Michael W. Silvestri on June 5, 2019 at 2:38pm — No Comments

The Martha Graham Dance Company gives a jam-packed triumphant performance presented by the Sarasota Ballet

Several years ago, the Sarasota Ballet began hosting a touring company early in the new year to give local audiences a greater breadth of experience with modern dance and to give the dancers a chance to relax in the audience for a change.


Local balletomanes have been treated to companies ranging from the well-known Paul Taylor Dance Company to, more recently, the less familiar Smuin Dance Company. This year, the Sarasota Ballet has hosted the grande dame of the dance world –…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 17, 2019 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Kicking off a Balmy Sarasota Holiday Season with Victorian Winters at the Sarasota Ballet

With “Victorian Winters,” the Sarasota Ballet took the audience on an elegant journey back in time celebrating the grandeur of belle époque choreography.


“Les Patineurs,” choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton to depict a Victorian skating party, was a gorgeous production. Kate Honea and Kaitlyn May were a lovely duo as Blue Girls; and I especially enjoyed watching them tiptoeing on toe gingerly across the “ice.”


We saw “Les Patineurs” a few years ago featuring…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 18, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Toe-tapping Joy in Re-Imagined "The Music Man" at Asolo Rep

From the minute the curtain went up, it was clear Asolo Repertory’s tap infused “The Music Man,” directed by Tony-nominated Jeff Calhoun, was going to be something special.


A group of salesmen on a jittery train introduce us to the tall tale of Professor Harold Hill, who is prone to skipping town once he has made his sale. The salesmen move up and down and sway a little until they reach a turn and then they gently lift their chairs and guide them around the bend simulating…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 25, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Iconographic - a Triumphant Launch for the Sarasota Ballet 2018-2019 Season

The Sarasota Ballet officially launched its 2018-2019 season with “Iconographic,” an evening featuring three major works each introducing the audience to a very separate and distinct picture of time and emotion.


When the company of radiant female dancers in white and gold tutus entered the stage adorned simply with chandeliers, I felt a sigh of relief come over me. At the conclusion of yet another difficult news week, punctuated with familiar but continuously unthinkable…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 29, 2018 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Two MVPs Exit Stage Right as New Stars Emerge in the Spotlight

As football fans focus on the draft, this week’s Sarasota Ballet performance gave balletomanes a chance to bid some MVPs a fond farewell and to begin to connect to newer recruits who are emerging in the spotlight.

Logan Learned in "Tarantella" (photo by Frank Atura)

It is no secret that I am a Logan Learned fan as the spritely and spirited dancer has…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on April 29, 2018 at 8:30pm — No Comments

High Powered One Two Punch with Ballet Hispanico and Dreams of Nature at Sarasota Ballet

Once a season for the past several years, Sarasota Ballet Artistic Director Iain Webb gives his hard-working dancers a chance to rest and settle into their seats to watch a guest ballet company perform. This is an equally pleasant opportunity for Sarasota audiences to check out a traveling company as a unique part of their season subscription.


Sure, our community has Sarasota Contemporary Dance making a splash on the arts scene as well a few companies occasionally visiting at…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on February 26, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

"Moving Identities" is truly spectacular!

If it’s possible, the Sarasota Ballet just stepped up another notch with “Moving Identities” ushering in 2018, which is certain to be an epic year on many fronts.


The evening program was truly spectacular and sealed the ballet’s fate to rank highly among some of the best traveling companies I have seen in my decades as a lover of dance. The company has successfully combined some of the strongest veteran dancers such as Ricardo Graziano (2010) and Victoria Hulland (2007) with…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 28, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

What's in a Name? Shakespeare in Love explores the Making of William Shakespeare

What’s in a name? Before William Shakespeare became the most famous playwright of all time, he was Will, a struggling poet with writer’s block. “Shakespeare in Love,” a play within a play, imagines young Will’s transformation into the immortal William Shakespeare.


“Shakespeare,” based on the Oscar-winning film, is currently playing at Asolo Repertory Theatre starring Jordan Brown, as the love-besotted Will, and Laura Rook, his thespian muse. The two have a nice easy…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on January 15, 2018 at 9:30am — No Comments

The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe's "A Motown Christmas" - the best place to get in the holiday spirit!

The Christmas season is in full swing, and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has outdone itself once again with this year’s “A Motown Christmas.” When performed in 2015, I really enjoyed the show, which was a nice balance of a mini-history lesson of the significance of the Motown sound in our musical lexicon and the Christmas spirit. This year’s production was largely the same as in 2015, but the performance felt entirely fresh and new.


Since they last performed the same mix…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 4, 2017 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Sarasota Ballet's Metropolitan - a Night to Remember

The Sarasota Ballet’s production “Metropolitan” opening on December 1st was a night to remember. The evening was billed as a tribute to New York and although the connection among the pieces was a bit tenuous (all were choreographed by or for New Yorkers), they shared in common a complexity and sophistication befitting Manhattan.

Ricardo Rhodes and Company…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on December 4, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sarasota Ballet makes a triumphant return for its 27th season with "The Secret Garden"

The Sarasota Ballet made a triumphant return for its 27th season with the magical production “The Secret Garden” choreographed by Will Tuckett. The ballet was choreographed for the Sarasota Ballet and was first performed three years ago. Time to grow is good for any garden, and this one was more lush and elaborate with the passage of a few seasons. “The Secret Garden,” with its timeless message about the healing powers of nature, seems particularly well suited to the Sarasota Ballet nurtured…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on November 6, 2017 at 7:00am — No Comments

"In the Heights" - a tour de force production exploding with heart!

Every once in awhile a show comes along that grips you from start to finish; and the Westcoast Black Theatre Company’s latest show “In the Heights,” which opened October 14th, was a tour de force production exploding with heart.


Before the show began, Nate Jacobs, Founder and Artistic Director, explained that years ago he couldn’t afford to go to Broadway to see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s breakout production “In the Heights,” but that the Latin inspired musical that…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on October 15, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Dog Days Theatre - Inaugural Season Off to a Steamy Start With Relatively Speaking

Dog Days Theatre a new series presented by the FSU Asolo Conservatory is a welcome relief for sleepy Sarasota summers. Season can be such a whirlwind when the Sarasota arts scene kicks into high gear, but now even Sarasota summer has much to recommend it.


Kelly Elizabeth Smith and Wyatt C. McNeil (photo by Cliff Roles)

The first show of the…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on July 23, 2017 at 7:24pm — No Comments

"Broadway in Black" steams up the summer on the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe stage!

Just when the doldrums of the steamy summer sets in, Sarasota audiences can count on the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe to provide a much-needed jolt with their annual summer musical revue. “Broadway in Black” opened June 24th and runs through July 23rd featuring just over 50 musical numbers!


The cast of "Broadway in Black" (photo by…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 26, 2017 at 6:39pm — No Comments

Asolo Rep takes Sarasota audiences "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" through July 1st

Asolo Repertory Theatre’s latest foray into theater appropriate for children is a thrilling ride taking the audience “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” For Sarasota, a town punctuated by many beautiful bodies of water and home to a world-class sanctuary for sea life, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, this play is the perfect entrée to the Jules Verne classic – fun and lighthearted but with an important message.…


Added by Bonnie Greenball Silvestri on June 15, 2017 at 8:00pm — No Comments

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